The Arabic alphabet is always cursive and letters vary in shape depending on their position within a word. Letters can exhibit up to four distinct forms corresponding to an initial, medial (middle), final, or isolated position (IMFI). While some letters show considerable variations, others remain almost identical across all four positions. Generally, letters in the same word are linked together on both sides by short horizontal lines, but six letters (و ,ز ,ر ,ذ ,د ,ا) can only be linked to their preceding letter. For example, أرارات (Ararat) has only isolated forms because each letter cannot be connected to its following one. In addition, some letter combinations are written as ligatures (special shapes), notably lām-alif لا, which is the only mandatory ligature (the un-ligated combination لـا is considered difficult to read).
In 1977, the McDonald’s restaurant owner clients who regularly met with Bernstein were looking for ways to create a better dining experience for families with kids. Bernstein reasoned that if kids could get a packaged meal all their own instead of just picking at their parent’s food, everybody would be happier. He had often noticed his young son at the breakfast table poring over the various items on cereal boxes and thought, “Why not do that for McDonald’s? The package is the key!” He then called in his creative team and had them mock up some paperboard boxes fashioned to resemble lunch pails with the McDonald’s Golden Arches for handles. They called in nationally known children’s illustrators and offered them the blank slate of filling the box’s sides and tops with their own colorful ideas from art to jokes to games to comic strips to stories to fantasy: whatever they thought might appeal to kids, at least eight items per box. Inside the box would be a burger, small fries, packet of cookies and a surprise gift. A small drink would accompany these items. Bernstein then named it the Happy Meal and it was successfully introduced with television and radio spots and in-store posters in the Kansas City market in October 1977. Other markets followed and the national roll-out happened in 1979.